Gives comfort to your family
New Zealanders need to find time to sit down and make sure they have a will. We all know this is important but how many of us don’t get around to it? Recent research by the Commission for Financial Capability has shown that only 47% of Kiwi adults have a will and the figures are worse for women, Māori and Pasifika. This survey of 2,000 New Zealanders found that only 44% of women have wills compared with 51% of men. These statistics are concerning when you consider the devastating effects that not having a will can have on your family.
Why should you have a will?
A will is often described as your final letter to your family. We agree with this but would add that your will is a legal document that gives instructions on what you want to happen to your personal assets after your death. Your will can also include matters such as the appointment of guardians for your children, what happens to any family heirlooms, whether you would like to be buried or cremated, or even who you would like to look after your beloved pet. Your will can relieve financial and emotional strain on your family, and help minimise the likelihood of disputes about your estate.
Continue reading “Make sure you have a will”
When you hear the word ‘inheritance’, what is your first thought? Is it positive or negative? Do you think about what you could receive from your parents, or what you might pass on to your children? Answers will vary, but generally the term ‘inheritance’ carries positive connotations. The Oxford Dictionary defines an ‘inheritance’ as ‘a thing that is inherited’. More helpfully, Wikipedia defines it as ‘the practice of passing on property, titles, debts, rights, and obligations upon the death of an individual’.
For this article, however, we’re focussing on ‘debts’ rather than actual things. What happens when your parents die broke? Can you inherit a debt?
Continue reading “Inherited debt? What if your parents die broke?”
How might this impact you?
As much as we like to think we are living in the modern day, there are still a large number of relationships that follow the more ‘traditional’ practice of having one party act as the ‘homemaker’, while the other acts as the ‘breadwinner’. If the relationship breaks up, economic disparity is likely to be an issue.
With the divorce rate in New Zealand sitting at around 50%, chances are you have friends and family members who have structured their relationship in this more traditional sense and have now separated. The result is often that the ‘homemaker’ is left in a worse position financially because they have been out of the workforce for a long time and will struggle to get back into their career. The breadwinner, meanwhile, who could focus on their career during the relationship, is now earning at their full potential. This is economic disparity – one party is advantaged over the other.
Continue reading “Economic disparity at the end of a relationship”
If you are in a de facto relationship, there could be significant financial implications for you if you separate, or if your partner (or you) dies
The principal piece of legislation which deals with the division of property belonging to couples or married couples is the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (the PRA). Substantial reforms in 2001 extended the scope of the PRA to cover de facto relationships. But what exactly constitutes a de facto relationship in the eyes of the law?
Continue reading “Are We in a De Facto Relationship?”
With the growth of multiple relationships and blended families many couples are having to consider ways to ringfence assets and protect inheritances. One option is to establish parallel trusts – so you each have your own trust for your share of the assets.
Continue reading “Parallel Trusts: Could be the best option for you”
Who pays for your funeral?
Most Wills have a clause directing the executors to pay funeral expenses as well as other usual estate liabilities. Often there is also a clause saying whether you want burial or cremation. Are these directions binding?
Continue reading “Your Will”
How you can help avoid a claim on your own estate.
In December 2015 the Sunday Star Times reported on a dispute amongst the members of the Ropati family in respect of their mother’s estate. The article contains the following statements:
“Figures released by the Ministry of Justice show that the number of disputes over wills rose by nearly a third in just two years … In 2012 there were 252 contested wills, and last year the figure reached 325 … Claims against estates can be brought by widows, widowers, de-facto partners, children, step-children and grandchildren … A claimant has to prove that the deceased failed to discharge a moral duty to provide for him or her … In one extreme case, two sisters battling over their mother’s $80,000 estate took their fight to the Supreme Court … The dispute between Judith Guerin and Marta Hayes lasted more than five years.”
Continue reading “Increase in Claims on Estates”
For many of us, buying a home is the largest purchase we will ever make. That’s why spending a few hundred dollars on a pre-purchase building report is so important as it can save you hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars in years to come. The report is one of the final hurdles in purchasing a property, so it’s important to know the process and your rights as a purchaser and also as a vendor.
Continue reading “Get a Building Report when You’re Buying a New House”
Here we publish the March 2011 issue of Rural eSpeaking; we hope you enjoy reading it. If you would like to talk further about any rural issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
In this Autumn edition, you can read articles on:
· Personal Property Securities Act: Grappling with section 53 in a livestock purchase
· Leasing the Farm: Can be a practical solution
· Over the Fence: New minimum wage rates – Sharemilking Arrangements: 2011-2-12 season – Public Holidays: Easter 2011 – GST zero-rating land transactions
The next issue of Rural eSpeaking will be published in July.
A change to the enduring power of attorney law finds the balance between protecting rights and dealing with the real-life situations of older people, Senior Citizens Minister John Carter said today.
Continue reading “Changes make it easier to appoint an enduring power of attorney”